This website makes references to a number of terms that may not be familiar to you. Use the links below to explore this glossary.


Saltbox Roof

double-sloping roof with the longer and lower slope to the rear of the building



framework that holds a piece of glass or several small pieces of glass



relation of the various parts of a building to the whole, to each other, to the surroundings and to the human figure


Second Empire (1880 - 1890)

The Second Empire style takes its name from the French Second Empire and the reign of Napoleon III (1852 - 1870). The style's most distinguished feature is a mansard roof, the steep lower section of which is normally interrupted with dormers. Doors and windows are often round-headed and grouped in pairs. Decorative detailing can include brackets under the eaves and quoins at the corners.


Segmental Arch

arch in the shape of a segment of a circle



recessed upper section of a building



body of the column between the base and the capital



exterior cladding of a building


Shed Roof

roof sloping to only one side



wood or asphalt tile for covering roofs and walls


Shingle Style (1880 - 1900)

The Shingle Style originated in New England and is associated with imposing, two or three storey, asymmetrical residential structures. The roof and walls are covered with unpainted wood shingles. Large, sweeping roof areas tend to flow into one another, sometimes extending across several stories.



hinged panel used to cover and protect a window opening



window located at the side of door



horizontal piece forming the bottom of a window or door opening



window covering an opening in a roof



terrace or room enclosed in glass and exposed to the sun



panels with windows above and below, spanning between vertical support posts or mullions



lathe-turned wood elements, often used as balusters and porch decoration



tall, narrow, steep roof structure ending in a point, rising from a tower or roof peak


Stained Glass

colored glass used in windows, often set in leadwork



tall tower with a spire


Stepped Gable

gable that diminishes in width by a series of steps



habitable space between a floor and a ceiling, floor or roof above; may not include basements and attics due to the local building ordinances; if habitable, attics are usually considered a half or three-quarter storey due to reduced headroom under the roof slopes


String Course

moulding or projecting course of stone or brick, running horizontally across the face of a building


Structural Overhang

projecting upper storeys, usually supported by cantilevers or brackets



heavy coating of a cement, lime, sand and water mixture applied to a wall surface as its exterior finish



trim around a door or window opening



compositional balance with respect to a point of reference such as an imaginary centre-line, as it is drawn through the plan or facade